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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10399
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My partner has been separated from his wife for two years.

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My partner has been separated from his wife for two years. He lives in a flat round the corner from the family home and tries to maintain a good relationship with all his children, who are all at senior school, between the ages of 11-18, seeing them morning and evening,which involves getting up at 5am. She totally controls his access to the children and makes it as difficult as possible.
He contributes 80-90% of the household expenses, mortgage etc. as she only works one day a week. He also pays for a full time nanny, cleaners etc. His estranged wife is still as angry as the day he left and tells everybody that he has abandoned her and the children and what a terrible, untrustworthy person he is. She frequently called his ex CEO and defamed his character telling half truths and lies. This led to him feeling undermined at work and he felt he had to leave.
He has a new directorship and now works in London but his estranged wife has started to threaten to contact his new CEO and Board of Trustees and do the same again.
She has been sending him abusive and threatening emails constantly for two years and has used the children to emotionally blackmail him. He has all the correspondence on file.
They both appointed solicitors, but are in stale mate as she will not agree to divorce, so they have stopped proceedings as she was uncooperative and they were running up huge legal fees to no avail.
He is worried that as he is still in the probationary period at work he may loose his job if she harangues his new boss. Obviously, if he has no income, he will not be able to maintain his financial obligations to her and his children, but she is more concerned with vengeance and destroying him.
Does he have any legal recourse?

I’m not certain what the problem is herein resolving this. I can see what the problems are but I can’t see why that cannot be resolved.

She may not want to cooperate in the divorce, and she may not sign any papers, but that’s not unusual and that can be dealt with by the solicitors.

With regard to her emails and nasty texts, and contacting his employer, that is harassment and he is entitled to protection from harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act and it makes a complaint to the police, she is likely to get a harassment warning. Further, he can apply to court for a restraining order to stop her contacting him in any way other than through solicitors or from contacting his employer. I am surprised that the solicitors have not advised him about this.

Although it might seem a mountain to climb, none of this is insurmountable and there is no reason why any of this should have been going on for the last 2 years.

Although he may ultimately be liable to pay child maintenance and spousal maintenance, he is not liable to pay the mortgage or the bills of house that he does not live in although he remains liable to the lender if the property is in joint names and she doesn’t pay it.

As he is currently paying what seems to be over the top financially, it does beg the question about the stability of her mind by ringing his superior because if he is being undermined and loses his job for example, she could be killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

There is no reason why he should lose his job because whether or not he is a good husband and father is a totally separate issue to whether he is good at his job or not and there is no reason why these spurious allegations from an embittered ex-wife should affect his employment position.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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We can still exchange emails. Best wishes.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Further to your reply, which was helpful, although my partner very much wishes for the threatening texts and emails to stop, he is worried that if he goes to the police or applies to court for a restraining order, he will be completely cut out of the loop with regards ***** ***** information about his children and his contact with them will be in jeopardy. He has repeatedly asked her to be civil and restrict any communication to practicalities, but she is extremely angry and vindictive and uses every opportunity to be abusive, but he feels he has to put up with this in order to sort out access to his children.He wishes to divorce and offered her the chance to divorce him for adultery, but she refused. He has now been separated from her for two years, but she will not give consent for a divorce so he will have to divorce her on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. However, this will infuriate her and she will discuss this with the children. Is there anything that he can do to stop her from discussing and over sharing inappropriate information with them? I had a collaborative divorce and we signed a code of conduct, agreeing to be civil and keep our daughters well being in mind at all times, but if a divorce is acrimonious, as this is sure to be, can the court enforce any codes of conduct and can access to the children be sorted out as a matter of urgency?My partner would like his children to grow up in the family home, and for it not to be sold until his youngest child has finished secondary education. However, if the children's mother continues to make access so difficult he can see that it would be necessary to sell the family home in order to buy two separate houses which could accommodate all five children. What are the options for a divorce which avoids selling the family home? As things stand, his estranged wife has said she will never allow any of them to stay the night in his flat. If his eldest daughter says she is going to her fathers flat to see him, she gets unpleasant texts from her mother berating her and saying she has betrayed her mother.He is dealing with an extremely difficult individual whose fury shows no sign of abating, despite the fact that she is on her third relationship, her first new partner being introduced into the household days after my partner moved out. She is unable to control her anger and has physically attacked him twice. He does not think that she would physically harm the children, but the emotional damage she is doing is very worrying. She validates even her very worst behaviour by saying that if he hadn't left her she wouldn't be forced to behave like this, so it's all his fault. He is trying to proceed with civility, but is finding dealing with her increasingly difficult and the constant barrage of abuse and character assassination he receives on a daily basis is taking its toll.Any advice on how to deal with her would be gratefully received. Would he be able to speak to you directly? I sent the original email, but we are doing this as a couple.Many thanks,